Twitter has just announced some photo news, as rumors circulating over the Memorial Day holiday weekend hinted it would. The big reveal isn’t exactly a new photo-sharing or photo-storage service – Twitter will not be hosting the photos you Tweet now. But that doesn’t mean that today’s announcement is irrelevant or unimportant.
Today’s announcement actually has two part: one dealing with search and one dealing with photos. It also involves two new partners for the company: Firefox and Photobucket.
Twitter says that it’s rolling out an updated version of its search today, one that will not just give you “more relevant tweets” and that will show related photos and videos on the results page so you needn’t leave the site to view them.
Twitter is partnering with Firefox in these improved search efforts – at least as part of today’s announcement. With a new version of the browser, users will be able to type a hashtage or a @username into the Awesome Bar and go directly to the search results page. There’s also an add-on that will give this same functionality. This makes Twitter search function much like any other address-bar-based search engine. (Well, except that it bypasses both Google and Chrome, of course.)
Twitter also announced that it has partnered with the photo-sharing and storage company Photobucket, which will be responsible for hosting these tweeted photos. In coming weeks, Twitter says, users will be able to upload a photo and attach it to a Tweet directly from the Twitter.com website. This will also be available via Twitter’s mobile apps, and the company is exploring ways to Tweet photos via SMS.
Just as the new photo-sharing service will be unveiled over the coming weeks to users, it appears as though developers will also have to wait for more information about the new “‘Tweet-with-photo’ API.” But as there are a number of companies who’ve staked their claim on providing just this sort of service – namely Twitpic and YFrog – the future of Twitter photo-sharing still appears cloudy.